Judge Grants MSJ for Defendant in FDCPA Case Over Cease Communications Request

In a case that was defended by Cooper Walker at Frost Echols, a District Court judge in Texas has granted a defendant’s motion for summary judgment in a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act case after the plaintiff admitted during a deposition that he never asked the defendant to stop calling him — even though that’s what he alleged in his complaint — while also admonishing the plaintiff’s attorney “to do better” after the plaintiff’s testimony came to light.

A copy of the ruling in the case of Ramirez v. Sequium Asset Solutions can be accessed by clicking here.

The plaintiff allegedly began receiving calls to his cell phone from the defendant on two different mobile phone numbers. The calls were attempts to collect on a debt owed by someone the plaintiff claimed not to have known. The plaintiff alleged that he “demanded on many occasions” that the defendant stop contacting him. The complaint alleges the plaintiff received more than 50 calls after he made his demand.

When being deposed, the plaintiff admitted that he never spoke with anyone at the defendant, although he clarified that he did ask for the calls to stop knowing that nobody was on the other end of the line because it took too long for someone to answer back after the plaintiff said hello. The plaintiff acknowledged he only learned the identity of the defendant because he looked up the phone numbers that were calling him and identified the numbers as belonging to the defendant.

The defendant also submitted call logs, account notes, and call recordings to substantiate its claim that the plaintiff never asked the defendant to stop calling.

The plaintiff also alleged the defendant violated the Texas Debt Collection Act for the same reasons it allegedly violated the FDCPA, but Judge Jeffrey Vincent Brown of the District Court for the Southern District of Texas granted the defense’s summary judgment motion on that claim for the same reason he granted it on the FDCPA claim.

Judge Brown did deny the defendant’s motion for sanctions and to have its fees and costs covered by the plaintiff, ruling that “the record does not support a finding that there was improper motive or purpose,” because the plaintiff’s attorney relied on the claims being made by his client.

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